I Was Told Property Owners Have A “Duty Of Care” – What Does That Mean?
Duty of care refers to the responsibility that a property owner has to those who have been invited onto their property. People who are invited onto the property are known as either invitees or licensees.
Invitees and licensees have a legal right to be on a property that is owned by someone else. The invitation may be made formally, informally, or be implied. An example of an implied invitation is the ability for anyone to go to a public place, such as a grocery store or the mall.
Trespassers are not invited onto the property.
Property owners are required to do everything that is reasonably within their power to ensure that others on their property are protected from injury. What is considered reasonable will change from property to property – for example, it is not reasonable to expect that a farm owner remove 200 acres worth of snow and ice from their land. However, it is reasonable that a store owner remove snow and ice from the parking lot and sidewalks on their property.
Can I File A Lawsuit If I Fell On Snow Or Ice?
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, it is possible that you may be able to pursue legal action against the responsible parties. The parties responsible may include the property owner and / or the company the property owner hired to remove the snow and ice.
What Is The “Natural Accumulation” Rule?
The Natural Accumulation rule deals with the amount of time that is reasonable for a property owner to remove the snow and ice from their property. No one can control the weather, and it is unreasonable to expect that everyone who owns property will be outside during the entire length of a snowstorm, keeping their sidewalks and driveways clear.
The amount of time that is considered reasonable will vary depending on how long the storm lasted, the size of the property, and other factors.
The Property Owner Says I’m At Fault Too – Can I Still File?
Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you are partially responsible for your fall, it may be possible for you to recover compensation for your injuries.
The Court will determine how much of the accident you were responsible for and assign a percentage to represent that fault. If any damages are awarded the amount given will be adjusted by this percentage.
I Have Health Insurance – Isn’t That Enough?
Even if you have the best health insurance coverage available, there are still out-of-pocket expenses that can quickly add up. Health insurance also will not cover your lost wages or pain and suffering. You deserve to be completely compensated for the injuries you have suffered due to someone else’s negligence.
What Kind Of Compensation Can I Get?
Any compensation you receive will be awarded in a monetary form called “damages”. Damages can provide a plaintiff with repayment for:
It doesn’t take much for multiple serious injuries to result in large medical bills. These unexpected expenses can leave the victim in financial trouble, all due to an accident that wasn’t their fault.
Most jobs require the employee to be physically fit and whole. If an injury is serious enough it can keep the victim from returning to work. Most households aren’t financially prepared for the wages that are lost when injuries prevent someone from doing their job.
Pain and Suffering
If the injury is disfiguring, scarring, or prevents the victim from using a limb or organ, the court may award extra compensation for the past and future pain and suffering caused by the injury.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
There is no exact formula that can accurately determine how much your case is worth. However, our attorneys can review the facts pertaining to your accident and show you examples of settlements and verdicts that we have obtained for previous clients.
How Do I Know Your Firm Is The Right One For Me?
We understand that choosing a law firm is a very personal and difficult decision. We believe that is in your best interests to work with a firm that exclusively practices personal injury law. That way, you have experienced professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of this branch of the law and aren’t distracted by others.
We have a long history of working with slip and fall victims and have helped to obtain the compensation that they needed to move forward after their accident. Feel free to review the testimonials that our past clients have written after dealing with our firm.